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Our view: Recycle your old electronics

Published: Wednesday, May 8, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

Being “green” is in.

A little more than a year into a ban that prohibits electronics from going into landfills, many Illinois residents are embracing a law aimed at protecting the environment.

As of January 2012, old electronics such as TVs and computers must be recycled. The law applies to residents and electronics manufacturers.

Close to 39 million pounds of electronics were recycled in the first year of the ban, according to the state. The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency said electronics manufacturers have recycled 50 percent more electronic waste since the ban started.

That’s not to say more education isn’t needed: Mike Buss, customer service supervisor for MDC Environmental Services, recently said trash collectors still come across TVs or computers on the curb in the McHenry County municipalities the company serves.

When those residents call to ask why an item wasn’t picked up, Buss informs them of how to properly dispose of it.

While it may not be as easy as setting a TV on the curb, recycling such items helps the environment. Electronic devices contain metals such as cadmium, lead and silver, and putting those in landfills could potentially contaminate groundwater.

Luckily, there are plenty of places to recycle electronics. The Environmental Defenders of McHenry County, for instance, holds a monthly drive to collect electronic products, alternating between locations in Woodstock and McHenry.

It is holding an Electronics and Recycling Extravaganza from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. May 18 at the McHenry County Courthouse in Woodstock. A list of accepted items is at www.mcdh.info and or call 815-334-4585 for additional disposal options.

The state also keeps a list of places to recycle electronics, available at www.epa.state.il.us/land/electronic-waste-recycling/

While it may be inconvenient to lug your old TV to a recycling event, the payoff of a healthier environment is worth it. We encourage people to continue taking part in electronic recycling.

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